U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > U.S. Territories
U.S. Territories Puerto Rico, Guam, U.S. Virgin Islands, etc.
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
Old 06-12-2012, 10:01 PM
Location: Denver, CO
14 posts, read 116,183 times
Reputation: 33


My husband works for the US Postal Service and may be transferring to PR in around 6-9 months. I have 3 young children (all under 3) and my main concern is their safety.
Most likely, we will be transferred to the San Juan area so somewhere safe and affordable is what I need.
We are looking for a 2-3 bedroom house/apartment for no more than $1000 a month and I can't figure out where to start looking. I tried Craigslist but we only speak English (yes, I know that will have to change)... so I guess I'm looking for advice on some safe neighborhoods that aren't going to be financially strenuous and not scams. I've seem multiple realtors online but some have duplicate pictures for different properties so I'm a bit leary.
I'm reaching out to the kind people of PR for some honest advice and any connections possible - Also, I'll be looking for a job myself but since I don't speak Spanish I have no clue where I can look.... Wal-Mart maybe??
Thank you in advance...
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

Old 06-13-2012, 01:54 AM
35,315 posts, read 51,068,229 times
Reputation: 30974
You are looking for a safe place to stay?,you'll be looking for work but dont speak Spanish and you are moving to Puerto Rico?
,I'd get hubby to rethink this transfer, definitely take a 2 week vacation to the area before committing to what maybe a lifetime decision.
Google crime in PR and you soon get the idea of the areas darker side.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-13-2012, 08:05 AM
Location: Boydton, VA
4,315 posts, read 5,838,758 times
Reputation: 9829
"may be transferring to PR in around 6-9 months".

"I have 3 young children (all under 3)"
"my main concern is their safety".
"a 2-3 bedroom house/apartment for no more than $1000 a month"
"we only speak English"
"I'll be looking for a job myself .... Wal-Mart maybe??"

Wow, where to start....or better yet, where to end. I'd look at the bullet points of your message...I count 5 strikes against you...in baseball you get 3 and you're out.

The only positive part is that you have at least 6 months to really investigate whether this move is right for your family.

1) I'd read every post in this forum concerning PR, read "Caribbean Business" online, make a pro's and cons list...then review the list...still look favorable ? Go to step 2
2) Pick any real estate agent, give them your requirements, review their replies, pick a few places to look at (assuming you can find anything for $1K per month in a safe area).
3) Use your vacation to travel to PR, leaving the kids with relatives...look at the real estate the agent found, look at the job location, visit with potential coworkers (ask about their utility bills), look into WalMart employment, check out and list grocery prices...(find any products cheaper than mainland pricing ?), still look favorable ? Go to step 4
4) Tell hubby to request (and receive) a 30% cost of living adjustment (use your grocery list, anticipated utility costs, and potential real estate costs as your justification)...ask for a list of Post Office employees who have made the transfer to PR, interview them...still good ? Go to # 5
5) Go back to # 1, you missed something.

All kidding aside, this is not a decision to be taken lightly...good luck to you.

Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-13-2012, 08:31 AM
Location: Denver, CO
14 posts, read 116,183 times
Reputation: 33
thank you to both for your honest replies... to clear things up a little... 1: i know (and i mentioned above) i will have to learn spanish, so your "not so nice" comments about that weren't necessary... 2: i only plan to look for a job to give me something to do, we don't need the extra income. and 3: i assumed $1,000 a month would be comfortable living in PR, obviously, from your posts, i am wrong.

i posted an open forum for honest opinions and i certainly got them - in my research i have also read numerous conflicting articles, blogs, opinions about living in PR... that's why i was asking the questions i was.

so again, thank you... but in the future, try to come across a little more polite if you are able. any other advice the two of you may have is still appreciated and welcomed (especially since we alreay broke the ice) - no hard feelings.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-13-2012, 12:45 PM
Location: On a Long Island in NY
7,801 posts, read 9,928,284 times
Reputation: 7366
Is your husband Puerto Rican?

It's very difficult for the Federal government to get employees to willingly transfer to Puerto Rico and in some agencies it is used as a "punishment posting".
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-13-2012, 12:50 PM
Location: Denver, CO
14 posts, read 116,183 times
Reputation: 33
No, he's hispanic - they offered a pay raise and travel expenses paid but post office across the island are looking for people to transfer in. There are over 100 positions open island-wide.

It's not a punishment posting at all, just an opportunity to transfer. He's been with the post office for 13 years now and has no discipline, etc. Just another opportunity as far as we can see.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-13-2012, 01:10 PM
Location: Boydton, VA
4,315 posts, read 5,838,758 times
Reputation: 9829
No hard feelings. I notice that you are from Denver (I spent the summer of '10 in Golden, loved it)...if you do take the move, say goodbye to those nice peaches/apricots you get for less than $1/pound in season at King Sooper or Safeway, the melons from up north for 2/$1, the fresh veggies.... Salad fixings still come from California or Yuma, depending on the season, almost nothing is sourced locally in PR. On the other hand, you can get fresh mango and pineapple (at twice what you'd pay on the mainland)...but it's fresh. Kids like milk ?...last summer it was about $6/gallon...it is government price supported, so you can't find it on sale. There are no Sunflower farmers Markets, no Sprouts, no TJ's or Whole Foods in PR...no Dolce Sicilia (on wadsworth in Wheat Ridge or the Polish meat market next door), WalMart/Sams Club and Costco are your best bets for shopping. Ah....but then there is the Panaderia Espana Reposteria in Isla Verde that will go toe to toe with the best bakery on the mainland.......the Mofongo...the spices....and of course the secluded the beaches where the only footprints you see are your own....

Go see for yourself

Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-13-2012, 05:14 PM
707 posts, read 1,144,928 times
Reputation: 859
i would totally join the post office to get transfered to PR. as long as i get to live on the west side and make enough money to send my kids to private school. i would lock my car and not parki in isolated areas near the beach where nobody else is parked. but my wife who only speaks english would only be able to find work at those private schools (maybe) and then for a pittance. i'd know when mango season is and hurricane season and i'd prepare for both. if i ended up in san juan my wife could work (if shes lucky) in some tourist shop in old san juan or some other tourist relatd thing, which would be cool, unless it was selling time shares. and i would bet on my car getting broken into at some point but as i bought soemthing cheap and never left anything of value in it, i'd deal wih it extremely gracefully and then get a medalla and head to the beach. if i had to get something done, i'd be patient. i'd become so bloody patient that when i am on a layover somewhere for 5 hours, i'd think, this is nada. i have waited 6 hours in a line for a death certificate which got revoked a few months later when the gov't needed money. if you like spicy food becuz the pain in your mouth reminds you you're still alive, you - like me - will love living in puerto rico because life in puerto rico is more than just breathing.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-14-2012, 08:34 AM
Location: Puerto Rico
355 posts, read 1,032,835 times
Reputation: 175
Safety is a relative thing here. Try a gated community, probably outside of Old San Juan. With 3 kids you will need at least 3 rooms (assuming two of the kids share a room). 1K rentals this big may be hard to find, specially good options somewhere nice. Also, you better make plans to have a car. Public transportation sucks big time. Traffic sucks as well, so it's a lose-lose situation, sorry. Getting a job may be difficult, even at WalMart. As somebody else pointed out, maybe a job in Old San Juan in a tourist area will be easier. Try to get started on your Spanish. With at least some you should be able to get through.

Honestly, if your husband is capable to cancel the transfer, do it. I've lived here all my life and cannot wait to leave.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-20-2012, 10:31 AM
529 posts, read 1,067,888 times
Reputation: 492
There seems to be a mis-understanding that Puerto Rico is like Hawaii. The closest you get to the 50th state is the weather but everything else is like moving to Panama or Costa Rica.

Getting a 3 bedroom apartment with 2 baths is not hard once you agree to pay the fee. If you want a place near the beach, where English is heard and they have private schools for a highly educated european style elite that makes most Americans seem like hill billies, then then check out Miramar, Guyanabo or Monte Hiedra. Bottom line, if you like these goodies then get ready to dish out the money. Remember Puerto Rico is not Iowa or Idaho, much less the Hawaii you see on Hawaii Five-o where everyone speaks English.

Gated Communities in Guaynabo, near San Juan or Dorado are great. You'll hear heavily accented English spoken regularly by rich snotty matrons buying in K-mart. Even Guaynabo, whose name was changed recently to Guyanabo City is a haven for americanized folks, even though the mayor of the city doesn't understand a word of English.

I think if you are adventurous and want your kids to experience a another culture , Puerto Rico may be a good bet.

Crime is an issue but its an issue in most large American cities too. San Juan is not New Orleans or LA, however most Puerto Ricans live so obsessed with crime that most think San Juan resembles Detroit or Camden New Jersey.

Florida is an option if you want to live in a cultural wasteland of amusement parks and tacky shopping strips.

In the end its your call., but there are problems everywhere you go, and Puerto Rico might surprise you, you may like it.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.

Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > U.S. Territories

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2023, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top